Notes For Ones Self

Notes for One's Self --- ?RonGoldman 18 Jan 2002

. . . in TheContextOfOurLives we need to manage our personal information.

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We cannot remember everything that we need to.

In addition to communicating with other people, many people also use email to send notes to themselves. They jot down things they need to do, reminders and whatever else they want their future self to attend to. A study by Xerox PARC researchers found that people tend to live in their email program, using it for all sorts of personal information management such as their appointments, todo lists, etc. ["E-mail as Habitat: An Exploration of Embedded Personal Information Management" by Nicolas Ducheneaut and Victoria Bellotti, in interactions, Vol. VIII.5, September + October 2001]

Email address books get used to hold other contact information such as phone numbers, street addresses, or general comments.

Appointments and todos are often kept in one's "In" box as a constant reminder, though they may be buried by other recent messages, or they may be kept in special folders.


Recognize that people will use any email client for more than just exchanging email with other people. Make it easy for people to create notes for themselves and to edit them later. Build in ways for people to include non-email information in address books.

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Some of this personal information can be captured by allowing people to flag and annotate messages (FlaggedMessages & AnnotatedMessages).

Our machines can help to remind us---?GentleReminder.

Instead of duplicating the features of calendaring software and other personal information management applications make sure that the email client connects seamlessly with those programs---GoodIntegrationWithOtherTools.


Last edited December 24, 2002
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